India vs Sri Lanka: Will Ruturaj Gaikwad Open in the 3rd T20I?

There have been a lot of talks regarding whether or not Ruturaj Gaikwad should open for India in the 3rd T20. The opening has been one of the biggest problems for the Indian cricket team in the last 2 T20 internationals against Sri Lanka. India tried Shubman Gill and Ishan Gill for the opening slots in the previous T20Is but both the batters failed to give any substantial start. With Shubman, it seems that he is still not there as an opener to represent India in the shortest format of the game. So, is it time that Ruturaj Gaikwad should be considered as an opener against Sri Lanka in the series decider?

Gaikwad was in glorious form in the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Tournament and Vijay Hazare Trophy. In the Vijay Hazare Trophy quarter-final clash against Uttar Pradesh last month, he smashed 7 sixes in an over. This rich vein of form earned him a place in the T20I squad against Sri Lanka. However, the Indian team management decided to hand a debut to Gill. 

Ishan Kishan too has failed to provide any firing start at the top. He was picked up for the T20I squad after his return to form with a double century against Bangladesh recently. Yet, it seems favorable to replace Gill with Gaikwad as the latter has the experience and his form might just be what India is looking for at the top in T20Is. 

Even if the concern is grave at the top, it seems highly unlikely that Ruturaj Gaikwad would open the innings for India in the 3rd T20I against Sri Lanka. As the series is currently leveled at 1-1, India will not alter their squad too much to give themselves a shot at glory. Also, it has been a norm in the Indian cricket team to provide players with ample chances before moving on to new players. Although Gaikwad might get to play in future games, it is highly unlikely that he will be given the opening slot, until and unless the regular openers are rested or they are injured.

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